A promising biomarker of AKI in dogs

27 January 2020 – News

The neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL) has been extensively studied as an early biomarker of tubular damage and acute kidney disease (AKI) in humans.

In dogs, some studies have concluded that the concentration of NGAL could predict azotemic AKI more quickly than serum creatinine concentration. It could also detect non-azotemic AKI and predict the likelihood of renal recovery.

This investigation aimed to evaluate the utility of urinary NGAL for AKI characterization in terms of volume responsiveness, inflammatory status, the presence of infection and in helping to determine prognosis. Eighty-six dogs were grouped depending on the severity of their acute kidney disease.  In each, NGAL was measured using a commercial ELISA sandwich essay.

The results showed that the presence of NGAL was higher in the overall population of dogs with AKI compared to the control group, confirming its relevance as an effective biomarker of acute renal disease. The results also showed that NGAL values seem not to be influenced by septic and surveillance status but that they are conditioned by inflammation. Finally, the results showed that higher NGAL results in dogs with AKI were grade-independent, suggesting the presence of tubular injury even in the milder stages of disease.

As NGAL is highly sensitive but has low specificity, the authors propose its combination with urine chemistry data and IRIS criteria to facilitate AKI characterization in dogs.

Monari E et al. Urine neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin to diagnose and characterize acute kidney injury in dogs. J Vet Intern Med. 2019 Nov 9. doi: 10.1111/jvim.15645.